Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nagle's (Local) Irish Adventures

Chris Nagle recently visited the Irish-American Club of Kalamazoo, where he was invited to give a talk on Irish literature. Chris spoke on the topic of “Neglected Women Writers in an Age of Revolution.”

The group is also planning to sponsor the local premiere of A Postcard from Ireland, a new travelogue by local filmmaker and WMU alum Chuck Bentley, which features both Chris and local vocalist Catherine Sugas performing traditional Irish ballads, and original music composed by Randon Myles Chisnell.


As we are inching our way towards the end of the fall semester, a hearfelt Happy Thanksgiving to all Friends of the English Department from our students, staff, and faculty!

Sweeney Receives Travel Grant

Chad Sweeney is the recipient of a competitive Graduate College Travel Grant. Congrats!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Memories are Made of This

Re-membering: Framing -Embracing - Revising History
10th Annual Symposium on Democracy - Kent State University
May 4-5, 2009

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Johnston & Percy Publish 'Duets'

Arnie Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy's Duets: Love is Strange, a collection of six plays, is now available. "This duet that Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy sing is a song of love enduring life's perpetual tribulations of desperation, uncertainty, absurdity, contention, guilt, and grief. It is a song that dramatically explores aspects of the ultimate human bond, love between two people." ---*Charles (OyamO) Gordon*, Playwright in Residence, University of Michigan

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Upcoming Frostic Reading: Lisa Fishman & Daneen Wardrop

December 11, 8:00 PM, The Little Theater

Daneen Wardrop's poetry has appeared in Seneca Review, TriQuarterly, Southern Review, and other magazines. She is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award and is the author of one poetry collection, The Odds of Being, and two books of literary criticism, including Emily Dickinson's Gothic.

Lisa Fishman has published The Happiness Experiment, Dear, Read, and The Deep Heart's Core is a Suitcase. She has also published a chapbook, KabbaLoom. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches in the MFA and undergraduate poetry program of Columbia College, and in Southern Wisconsin where she has an organic farm.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Third Coast Reading this Thurs. Nov. 20

There's a Third Coast Reading this Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:15 pm, at Dino's Coffee Lounge, 773 W Michigan Ave (otherwise known as the corner of Stadium and Academy, parking on Academy). Poetry by Birkin Gimore, a play by Karen Wurl and fiction by Michael Fischer. So come, drink some coffee, listen to some linguistical love... Invite your neighbors and students.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hayden White Visit

Hayden White, professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and professor of comparative literature at Stanford University, is currently visiting WMU and Kalamazoo. In addition to workshop classes with graduate students and meetings with faculty, he also spoke to a large audience on the topic of "The Practical Past" at the Fetzer Center. The visit was co-sponsored by the English Department. The picture shows Dr. White together with WMU's Graduate Dean, Dr. Lewis Pyenson.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Q and A Nov. 13@3:45 With Playwright Erik Ramsey

November 13th at 3:45 PM in 3025 Brown, the Humanities Resource Center, there will be a Q and A with playwright Erik Ramsey prior to his reading at 8 PM in the Little Theatre as part of the Frostic Reading Series.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CFP: The Laureate

The Laureate is currently seeking submissions for the 2008-2009 edition. The Laureate is an undergraduate, student-run publication of literature produced by Lee Honors College students. The journal accepts any forms of literature, including poetry, short works of fiction (less than 15-20 pages), prose, drama, and non-fiction. The selected works are published in a 60-80 page journal which is to be distributed at a reading in March or April. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2008, and anyone interested in this opportunity to publish should please contact: Elizabeth Scramlin (elizabeth.s.scramlin@wmich.edu) or Otto Shaffer (edward.o.shaffer@wmich.edu). You can also write to laureate.2008@gmail.com

a poem by Janet Heller

Janet Heller's poem "Nature's Olympics" has been accepted for publication in Encore and will appear in the December issue. She originally wrote the poem during the Atlanta Olympics.

Nature's Olympics

Swimmers churn Atlanta pools,
Runners streak down dusty tracks,
And gymnasts tumble and fly through the air.
While the Olympic torch burns overhead,
Thousands cheer their countrymen.

Here in Michigan, loons paddle near Isle Royale
And laugh like banshees
Before they dive and disappear
In the evening mist.
Chipmunks dash across our yard
To capture seeds, stuffing their cheeks,
Then scamper toward their burrows.
Goldfinches balance on sunflowers,
Chickadees dart from food to swaying trees,
And hummingbirds fly backwards,
Landing on titonia like acrobats.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hayden White Lecture

On Thursady, November 13, Dr. Hayden White of Stanford University will deliver a public lecture on "The Practical Past" at WMU's Fetzer Center, 6 p.m. Reception follows. The event is sponsored by the departments of History & English, the Medieval Institute, the Graduate College, and many more.

Update from Kristen Tracy

Kristen Tracy's first teen novel, Lost It, was published last year by Simon & Schuster. It received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, was selected by the New York Public Library as one of their "Books for the Teen Age," and is already in its third printing. Her second teen novel, Crimes of the Sarahs, was also published by Simon & Schuster and came out this spring (It's set in Kalamazoo). Her first middle-grade novel, Camille Mcphee Fell Under the Bus, will be published next year by Random House with a second novel to follow in 2010. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, New York Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, and AGNI. She recently found out that Ted Kooser has selected her poem "Rain at the Zoo" to be reprinted in American Life in Poetry. She lives and writes in San Francisco, where she is very very happy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Social Justice Jobs

Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center will be on the WMU campus on Monday, December 1 @ 7PM in the Wesley Foundation (near flagpole) to discuss careers in the field of community organizing, and to schedule interviews with students interested in empowering their communities and working for social change. To find out more about DART or to apply, we encourage you to send your resume to: Sunil Joy, DART Network, 820 New York Street Lawrence, KS 66044 or by email: sunil@thedartcenter.org. If you have any questions, please call: (785) 841-2680. Also, you can download applications or view profiles from previous OTs at the DART website: www.thedartcenter.org.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Vocke Featured by NWP

Karen Vocke's successful work with migrant students and their families is currently featured in a full-length article published on the National Writing Project website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Graduate Playwrights Present Public Readings

This semester the Graduate Playwrights Workshop is holding its readings and workshops every Tuesday night, at 6:30 p.m. at the Whole Art Studio Theatre at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall, from now until the end of the semester.

The readings are script-in-hand sit-down or staged readings that feature new work-in-progress as read by actors from the Theatre Department. A brief discussion with the audience and playwright follows the reading.

The readings are free.

Cemetery Row, Act One
by Karen Wurl
A very free adaptation of the classic ballet Giselle, set in a college neighborhood in Milwaukee. Singing barista Lauren meets Josh, a cute guy from out of town who isn't quite what he appears to be; meanwhile, random guys keep washing up dead on the shore, Lauren’s friend Drew can be annoying, and Lauren is haunted by a dead girl. Can she find love? (To be continued.)

Justice for All
by Kevin Dodd
An exploration of the morality and practicality of Capital Punishment in the United States. This docu-drama traces the journey of a boy who brutally murdered two young girls and how the repercussions of the act and his trial rocked the community and nation.

The Manumission Manifesto
by Jason Lenz
A pet funeral home curator is forced to struggle with an absurd series of circumstances as he seeks to answer the seemingly simple question: why are there suddenly so many dead cats coming into the funeral home? As he delves deeper into his investigation, he discovers a trail of breadcrumbs that exposes the truth behind the surreal and oppressive nature of the world around him.

Bearing Daughters
by Mikala Hansen
In an effort to "save" the family, Joan reveals to her daughters, Elizabeth and Diana, that they must produce a son to preserve themselves as well as the family's line. Joan explains how the possible breach of a contract their ancestors made with the Devil threatens the family's survival, which forces Joan's daughters to question her sanity as well as her story's truth. After Mary, Joan's thirteen year old daughter, becomes pregnant in her own attempt to "save" the family, they continue to quarrel over who's to blame for this, what actually happened, and what should be done.

In the Window
by Robert Kirkbride
A man becomes obsessed with the idea of voyeurism after receiving a telescope.

Half Empty
by Joe Sanders
Concerning our hero, Charles, the woman who loves him, the friend at his side, the country indebted to him, a witch's curse, a deal with the devil, and a list of priorities...

Janet Heller to give readings from her book

The English Department's Janet Heller reads her award-winning book for kids about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape, for Western Michigan University's Student Education Association's Read-a-Thon; she will also conduct creative writing workshops for the children. The first reading is Thursday, November 13, from 6 to 8 at the Dual Language School, 604 West Vine St., and the second is Wednesday, November 19, from 7 to 8 at Washington Writer's Academy, 1919 Portage Road. For more information, please contact Jamie Green at jamie.e.green@wmich.edu.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Slawinski Delivers Paper on Vickery's Admirers

On a wonderfully warm Halloween, Scott Slawinski presented "Of Public Epistles and Personas: Sukey Vickery and her Della Cruscan Admirers" at the annual conference of the Northeastern American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. The conference was held in Finger Lakes town of Geneva, NY, with the hotel situated right on the shore of beautiful Seneca Lake.

Third Coast Reading Thurs. Nov. 6

There's a Third Coast Reading this Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:15 pm, at Dino's Coffee Lounge(we'll be in the back room with the stage) 773 W Michigan Ave (otherwise known as the corner of Stadium and Academy, parking on Academy). James Miranda will be reading fiction, Andrea England will be reading poetry and Kris Peterson will be reading from a play. So come, drink some coffee, listen to some linguistical love...Invite your neighbors and students. :) The other Third Coast Reading dates for Fall are Nov. 20, and Dec. 4 (all Thurs, same time, same place).

The Boy Whose Hands were Birds

Main Street Rag Publishing Company to release Roy Seeger's The Boy Whose Hands were Birds, the winner of the 2008 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Contest. The book will be available through Main Street Rag's online bookstore and through select bookstores nationwide with a suggested price of $14.00.

Roy Seeger is a Full English Instructor at the University of South Carolina Aiken and the winner of the 2007 Gribble Press Chapbook Contest for The Garden of Improbable Birds. He recieved his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Western Michigan University in 2005 and his Master of Arts in Poetry from Ohio University. He was also co-winner of the 2008 Society for the study of Midwestern Literature's Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Poetry Center Juried Reading, and his work has been featured on Verse Daily as well as in numerous poetry journals such as Gulf Coast, The Laurel Review, and the Mississippi Review.

You may contact Roy Seeger for autographed copies, readings, book signings, and workshops at 803-226-0245 or by emaill at roydseeger@hotmail.com

Upcoming Frostic Reading: Erik Ramsey

Erik Ramsey November 13, 8:00 PM, The Little Theater

Erik Ramsey’s plays have been produced around the country, and several of his short works have been published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing. His recent play, Lions Lost (In Translation), has been developed, read and work-shopped at numerous regional theaters including Cleveland Public Theatre, American Stage, the Tony-award winning Victory Gardens, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. His two textbooks, The Art of Theatre: Then and Now, and Experiencing the Art of Theatre were published by Thomson/Wadsworth (2006).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nagle on Wild Irish Girl

After “five summers, with the length / Of five long winters,” Chris Nagle’s essay, “From Owenson to Morgan: History, Sensibility, and the Vagaries of Reception in The Wild Irish Girl,” finally appears as part of a new collection, Anglo-Irish Identities, 1571-1845, edited by David A. Valone and Jill M. Bradbury for Bucknell University Press.